The gathering of the Clan was nearly rained out. The weather in Michigan has been quite nice this year ~ the summer was pleasant without to much humidity or intolerable temperatures. However, it was the driest August we've seen in noted record-keeping. On Saturday, just when the family was beginning to congregate, the skies opened up and delivered incredible rains. I'm not complaining one iota. Given the barrage of life-threatening storms that others are trying to endure we had it easy and, actually, I'm rather grateful for the rain. It poured so hard that we stayed together under the roomy and dry pavilion all day long and into the evening. Cards were played, guitars were strummed, and because of the self-containment under the covering, many conversations occurred that might have otherwise been missed.
A good time was had by all who were there. In my own immediate family five states were represented (including Michigan, our home state). A mention was made to remember or think of those not present due to distance or inconvenient dates; a moment of silence was offered up for ones we loved that have passed on. A cake was enjoyed for those who were celebrating birthday's this month.
These are the moments that are a struggle when one (Cliff) is not attending because he's in prison or still living on the streets, or worse, missing in action. Years of birthday celebrations, holidays and picnics have been missed by half my heart. I should be used to this by now and my spirit is much better at these get-togethers than in years gone by. My joy was not robbed by anything this weekend!
I was in the present and enjoying the day for what it was. I listened to conversations more attentively. I looked into the eyes of those I love and heard their life stories since last we met. My thoughts weren't wondering why they didn't ask me about Cliff. This reunion wasn't about Cliff. It was about those we had in our midst that day and realizing that in two years, when and if we meet again, some won't be with us because they are no longer on this earth.
I'm growing in my recovery and more and more grateful for this program that works, heals and mends.